Having had a long medical history in the East, we think it is high time that people from the West get to know this amazing fruit.
The bitter melon has been traditionally used in the East for treating high blood pressure, skin infections, painful menstruation, kidney stones, colic, malaria, glaucoma, high cholesterol, diarrhea, stomach cramps, hemorrhoids, and fever.
It’s medical powers come from alkaloids, glycoside, peptides, acids, cucurbitins, charantin, cucurbitacins, momordine, momorcharins, and proteins it contains.
Due to the charantin, cucurbutanoids, momordicin, and oleanolic acids it possesses, the bitter melon also has hypoglycemic properties. According to recent studies, this fruit has hypoglycaemic and anticancer effects.
The Garvan Institute of Medical Research and the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica have conducted a study where it was discovered that bitter melon can effectively treat Type 2 diabetes.
This is due to the fact that bitter melon contains certain chemical compounds that activate AMPK which encourages the movement of glucose transporters to the surface of cells. “More transporters on cells’ surfaces increase the uptake of glucose from circulation in the blood into tissues of the body, such as muscle, thus lowering blood sugar levels.”
The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published that researchers discovered that “Bitter melon had a modest hypoglycemic effect and significantly reduced fructosamine levels from the baseline among patients with type-2 diabetes who received 2,000 mg/day. However, the hypoglycemic effect of bitter melon was less than metformin at 1,000 mg/day.”
According to a recent study conducted by Saint Louis University scientists, bitter melon extract triggers a chain of events on a cellular level that stops breast cancer cells from multiplying and also kills them. A lead researcher stated that “bitter melon extract modulates several signal transduction pathways, which induces breast cancer cell death. This extract can be utilized as a dietary supplement for the prevention of breast cancer.”
You can consume the bitter melon as a fruit, a drink, or added to your smoothies. You can also find it as a herbal supplement.